On a better use of resources

In this article, Robert Wood the Lancashire Rep to the NWYL committee, questions the Fabian Society’s prioritised use of resources, following their recently published report of Labour’s chances at the next General Election.

As it’s the new year, this is the time when we all return to work or studies after the season of goodwill, only it would seem that sentiment seems to have been forgotten by some within our party.

One of the great things about our party is that we are able to incorporate groups of differing views such as Momentum, The Fabian Society, Open Labour and Progress. These groups all have a purpose and their own specific goals and visions for the Labour Party. Each one of them have an important role to play in creating an open and democratic internal debate on direction for the Party and manifesto building.

However this doesn’t always happen, partly due to a minority, albeit a vocal one, of each of these groups, forgetting who the real enemy is. Maybe all these groups could create a rule for membership that by signing up, members agree that both a Blair or Corbyn led Labour Party, is preferable in government, to the Tories, regardless of their leader. This is a view that every Labour Party member should hold.

But this doesn’t seem to be the case. Many on the left, right and somewhere in the middle, of the party spend far more time on social media vilifying other parts of the Labour Party than this horrid Tory government. We are giving an easy ride to Theresa May and her band of thieves.

What we, within the party, often forget is, although the internal operations of the party might be really important to you or I, the public do not care one jot about Momentum, Fabians, Open Labour or Progress. When they go to vote, the ballot paper says: The Labour (& Co-operative) Party Candidate(s).

This week we saw another example of this internal squabbling being played out in the media. Instead of letting the important #RailFail campaign be the focus of the media’s attention on us, The Fabian Society release a report claiming we can’t outright win a General Election under our current, and twice elected, leader.

Travelling to work is getting more and more expensive every single year, under a Tory government who only care about the 1%. Yet the Fabian Society have put their resources into publishing this report.

This week, to mark ‘Fat Cat Wednesday’, The High Pay Centre published a report showing that the average pay of FTSE 100 Chief Executives is £1000 per hour. This is compared to minimum wages varying from £7.20 to £3.40 an hour. These people earn more in just 1 hour, than many full time workers do in over 7 weeks. Yet the Fabian Society have put their resources into publishing this report.

Homelessness has doubled since 2010, while funding for homelessness services has halved during this time. It was estimated that we’d have around 120,000 children homeless on Christmas Day and it continues to rise. Yet the Fabian Society have put their resources into publishing this report.

Child poverty rates were getting so bad under this government, that to avoid embarrassment, they changed the definition to hide their failure and still it continues to rise. Yet the Fabian Society have put their resources into publishing this report.

There have been disabled people, including those without arms or legs, being told that they are “fit for work” and are therefore not entitled to their benefits and have died as a result of the inhumanity of people like Iain Duncan Smith, Esther McVey and Priti Patel. Yet the Fabian Society have put their resources into publishing this report.

I’ve spent much of the Christmas and New Year break, trying to make Lancashire Young Labour’s Big Out Day in Buckshaw Village on Saturday 28th January, as helpful as possible to the party’s effort to keep Jenny Mein in the leader’s office at County Hall. This event requires a lot of time and some money to make possible. If I knew the Fabian Society were sat around looking for things to do and spent money on, I would have asked them to organise and pay for it instead. There’s still time if the Fabians want to offer to help get our young members more involved in our campaigning. We will be going out and telling voters the truth about this government. The facts, including those above, that the media hide and instead fill their coverage with reports like this.

That would be a better use of your resources.

Robert Wood

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